Perro de PRESA CANARIO HISTORY

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The Presa is a molosser type of dog originated on the Canary Islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, in the Canary Archipelago. The islands, which got the name after the dog, not a famous bird. In fact, the word "cane" gave rise to the islands name. These dogs were widely spread on the territory of the Canary Islands before the Spanish were settled there. The islands where referred to as "The Islands of Dogs."

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Around the eighteenth century, the English colonists, traders and merchants brought their Bandogges and Tiedogs to the Canary Islands. Shortly thereafter, the English introduced their favorite breeds of Bull/Terriers, Bulldogs, and Mastiffs, and began crossbreeding with the existent Perro de Presa of the Canary Islands.

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The word “presa” can be translated to mean clutch, grip, or hold, so then holding dog, or shortly gripper. Presa Canario was developed by farmers in the Canary Islands to serve as guardian dog, to guard their homes, farms, livestock, and to subdued the cattle for the butchers. They were later used in dog fighting along with other breeds until the 1940s when fighting there was prohibited. Consequently, the Perro de Presa Canario decreased greatly in numbers. Just a few Presa dogs where still used by farmers as guardian dogs and to catch and hold the cattle. 

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Throughout the next decade, breeders began searching for what they believed were the most traditional examples in temperament, courage, guard instinct, and aspect.  These breeds may have included the Bullterrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Great Dane, the Neapolitan Mastiff, the Fila Brasileiro, the American Bulldog, the English Bulldog, the Bullmastiff, the Spanish Mastiff, the Doberman, the Dogue de Bordeaux, the Spanish Alano and the Perro de Ganado Majorero.  Clearly, the gene pool for the modern Presa Canario is quite extensive and can still produce atypical specimens of this nascent breed.

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Reconstruction of the breed began in the early 1970's by various aficionados who sought to preserve the heritage of the Presa Canario.  Throughout the next decade, breeders began searching for what they believed were the most traditional examples in temperament, courage, guard instinct, and aspect.  These breeds may have included the Bullterrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Great Dane, the Neapolitan Mastiff, the Fila Brasileiro, the American Bulldog, the English Bulldog, the Bullmastiff, the Spanish Mastiff, the Doberman, the Dogue de Bordeaux, the Spanish Alano and the Perro de Ganado Majorero.  Clearly, the gene pool for the modern Presa Canario is quite extensive and can still produce atypical specimens of this nascent breed.

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The first few Presa were imported to U.S. in the late 1980s. The popularity was on the rise. Dog fanciers were anxious to own and show this rare breed dog. Nevertheless, AKC registers the Presa Canario only under their FSS program, which is useless for Presa owners. Fortunately, other American Presa Canario clubs were founded. Now, you can register your Presa with UKC or UPPCC. However, if you live in Europe, and want to register your Presa with FCI, you need to change his original name to Dogo Canario. According to FCI standards, your “Dogo” will not be allowed to have a black cote, and the traditional white markings on belly, chest, and feet. Also, cropping ears is illegal in Europe

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The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the Perro de Presa Canario on January 1, 2003 with all traditional marking and black coat.

To learn more about Perro de Presa Canario History go to: 

http://uppcc.net/breed-history/